David Savastano, Editor05.20.19
For nearly 50 years, Les Watkins has been virtually everywhere in the world of inks. From his start with Universal Printing Ink in the UK, then on to Canadian Fine Color in Canada, Capitol Printing Ink, Graphic Fine Color, Handschy and Flint Ink in the US, Flint Ink in Australia and Sun Chemical and Zeller+Gmelin back in the US, Watkins has been in the forefront of countless ink developments. Retiring from the ink industry in 2015, Watkins now works with US Polymers/Accurez, and reflects on the changes he has seen over the years.
“In my early years, we made a ‘base’ ink which every pressman modified with his own ‘secret sauce,’” Watkins recalled. “There was also a five-year apprenticeship to become a journeyman pressman.
“That all went away in the 1970s and we as ink makers had to develop inks that did a better job on newer and faster equipment with less skilled operators,” he added. “A profound change in tho
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